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S197 My budget track 5.0 GT Build Thread Profile - S197 Mustangs

From my experience, do nothing else to the car to make it faster. Make yourself faster by setting up a lap timer/data acquisition and getting lap times. First you're going to need lap times to be consistent, then you can start playing around with the car in spots where you're comfortable modulating brakes/throttle/steering. I'm not saying drift it around a corner (excessive slip is slow) but maybe try not to steer as much in some turns, or try to get on the throttle a little bit earlier and seeing if that improves anything in the data.

One thing I've noticed is the more i modify my car, the higher the likelihood that something that wasn't originally the weakest link, becomes exactly that. I find it best being able to maximize a track day by getting my car reliable, having a game plan for what I want to accomplish (can be anything from being able to find a good tire pressure, be consistent with lap times throughout the day, turn traction control off and try to match my lap times from when they were on, etc.) and to at least make a new friend. Bonus if they're faster than me and willing to share data.

Although I'm a tier 3 driver in Ford land, i know there are other more experienced and knowledgeable spots where I can find new tidbits of information such as Speed secrets podcast by Ross Bentley, the "to win" books by Carroll Smith (who used to engineer race winning cars with Carroll Shelby) and other driver training books and other media. My favorite go to is the library apps where I can check out these and other books from the comfort of my couch and figure out what to do next on either the car or myself.

I wouldn't personally get a tune since that just makes the car faster without driver improvement. I don't have any experience with the person you're working with or their tunes, but it seems to me going away from the factory calibration will decrease durability. It'll probably be fun, but then you'd be going down a rabbit hole of looking for more power. I've done that and had minimal gains of decreased lap times compared to swapping to grippier tires.

You might think this to be good advice, or maybe you want to mod the car because that's part of the fun (hell, I think it is too!). At the end of the day, as long as you're having fun and supporting the sport, there's no wrong answer in my books.
Some tuners, like Shaun at AED, have a track day/HPDE specific tune which I would recommend if you don't have something else already.
 

APEX Wheels

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635
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5-10 Years
Bay Area, CA
Congrats on the wheels and Catalyst, you're going to love both! I've been a big fan of the RT660 on my personal car the last couple years. Not the fastest, and not the longest lasting, but an excellent blend of both.

If you're considering a tune, look into Juggernaut Performance.


They did my 2011 GT and it had the same power but better driveability compared to a couple of other "bigger" name tuners. Plus the background Matt has (head tuner at JP) would blow your mind, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgable about these cars and tuning/programming in general. Heck I even had them tune my Ecoboost Expedition.
 
65
79
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Congrats on the wheels and Catalyst, you're going to love both! I've been a big fan of the RT660 on my personal car the last couple years. Not the fastest, and not the longest lasting, but an excellent blend of both.

If you're considering a tune, look into Juggernaut Performance.


They did my 2011 GT and it had the same power but better driveability compared to a couple of other "bigger" name tuners. Plus the background Matt has (head tuner at JP) would blow your mind, you'll be hard pressed to find anyone more knowledgable about these cars and tuning/programming in general. Heck I even had them tune my Ecoboost Expedition.

Thank you for the recommendations! Have not decided on tires for next season yet so the Falkens are definitely on the table. Would you say they can hold up to about 100 miles each way to get to the track? Not looking for the longest lasting tire but do need something that can last a few track days plus get me there and back.

Also will definitely check out JP. Have put the exhaust and tune on hold until spring and am taking my time looking into all options.
 

APEX Wheels

Race Proven, Street Approved
Supporting Vendor
635
978
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
5-10 Years
Bay Area, CA
Thank you for the recommendations! Have not decided on tires for next season yet so the Falkens are definitely on the table. Would you say they can hold up to about 100 miles each way to get to the track? Not looking for the longest lasting tire but do need something that can last a few track days plus get me there and back.

Also will definitely check out JP. Have put the exhaust and tune on hold until spring and am taking my time looking into all options.
I wouldn't have an issue driving that distance with them. I only have one track that's under 100 miles, 47 to be exact, which I will drive out and back on them. The rest are further so I trailer it at that point (and camp).
 
1
2
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Sacramento
Big brake upgrade today!

Shout out to @jayhawk261 for working out a great deal on 6 piston Brembos, Girodisc GT500 rotors, and stainless steel brake lines. Every interaction I’ve had with individuals on this forum has been nothing but positive and I’m grateful for the wealth of knowledge here in this community.

Flushed the whole brake system out with Motul 600 DOT4 brake fluid after install and brakes feel greatly improved. Easy job. Shout out to my wife for helping me bleed the brakes as well haha. Wheels for perfectly with a good amount of clearance once the 5mm spacers were added.

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View attachment 75940 what model ofcalipers are these are they from another car or custom setup ?
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
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No real worries with any of the 200 TWR tires driving to and from the track in almost every case ( heck , that is their design profile ). The Nebraska Region holds around 8 events at the Solo National site in Lincoln , Nebraska , and if you count the Championships that would get one in this area 9 runs. There are many drivers who go 100+ miles there and back and do it numerous times during the year. Sure, if you have space many will get an extra set of wheels ( say Apex for instance, ha ) and tires and mount them at the track, and this will save the rubber. One in the trunk, three in the back seat, you will still have room for a small jack and tools --- there are many of us who have done this or are still doing it.

Good luck, your choice of tires is getting bigger and bigger all the time! Yokes, Bridgestone, Goodyears, Hankooks, BFGs, Falkens, etc.
 
65
79
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
No real worries with any of the 200 TWR tires driving to and from the track in almost every case ( heck , that is their design profile ). The Nebraska Region holds around 8 events at the Solo National site in Lincoln , Nebraska , and if you count the Championships that would get one in this area 9 runs. There are many drivers who go 100+ miles there and back and do it numerous times during the year. Sure, if you have space many will get an extra set of wheels ( say Apex for instance, ha ) and tires and mount them at the track, and this will save the rubber. One in the trunk, three in the back seat, you will still have room for a small jack and tools --- there are many of us who have done this or are still doing it.

Good luck, your choice of tires is getting bigger and bigger all the time! Yokes, Bridgestone, Goodyears, Hankooks, BFGs, Falkens, etc.

People are fitting 4 sets of 11 inch wide wheels inside their cars!? That seems crazy. I will have to give it a try- if it works that solves a lot of problems for me. Might be installing a 4 point cage in the spring so not sure if that would still work.

Have been thinking hard about whether I want to drive to the track next season or rent a trailer and tow the car there (which would leave my wife without a car for the weekend). Have also been tossing around the idea of buying a small utility trailer from Harbor Freight and adding a hitch to the mustang to tow wheels, tools, and fuel. That would probably be the easiest solution, but have to deal with that ugly hitch haha. If I drive to the track on my 19x11 Apex wheels can I set my camber to zero to drive to the track and then adjust when I get there without any rubbing issues?
 

JDee

Ancient Racer
1,610
1,691
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W2W Racing
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20+ Years
5 miles from Mosport
If you take your rear seat out you are basically open all the way into the trunk. Plus you'll shed a bunch of weight. That should make loading them from the trunk with a roll bar installed doable.
Though you might have to watch out for a hernia!! ;)

It's my understanding that toe changes with camber, so you'd want to maybe test this on an alignment rack to find out for sure whether that's happening or not, and how to correct for it.
The truth is that running big negative camber doesn't really chew up tires on the street. When my car was a street driven car I ran it with -3.5 of camber all the time and I never saw any wear that wasn't caused by the track. You'll do way more damage in one day of lapping then you'll do in 10,000 street miles.
 
65
79
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
If you take your rear seat out you are basically open all the way into the trunk. Plus you'll shed a bunch of weight. That should make loading them from the trunk with a roll bar installed doable.
Though you might have to watch out for a hernia!! ;)

It's my understanding that toe changes with camber, so you'd want to maybe test this on an alignment rack to find out for sure whether that's happening or not, and how to correct for it.
The truth is that running big negative camber doesn't really chew up tires on the street. When my car was a street driven car I ran it with -3.5 of camber all the time and I never saw any wear that wasn't caused by the track. You'll do way more damage in one day of lapping then you'll do in 10,000 street miles.
Wow that makes me feel a lot better about driving with the apex wheels on the street with some negative camber. I am overthinking things.
 
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@Kona.coyote5.0 In my experience I wasn't able to fit 19x11 wheels and 305/30/19 track tires inside my S197 without a big fight. Yes, it can be done but it's a huge pita plus you are trashing the interior if you care about such things. To be clear, I have a full interior and back seat. I'm sure it would be easier without a back seat. But just folding down the rear seat doesn't get it done.

I gave up on that headache and built a little Tractor Supply trailer for $600. If you want to be more elegant, the Leroy trailers are pretty cool but $$$. It works fantastic, drives perfect, and the trailer hitch doesn't stand out too bad imo. All of the hitch structure is hidden behind the rear bumper cover except for the little square tube that takes the ball hitch. Go to etrailer.com and you can see pictures. One downside, the hitch structure adds about 20 lbs of weight but at least it's on the rear.

Regarding camber plates, for a dual use vehicle you want to put the CC plates in the most upright position and get your alignment set to zero degrees toe. This is your street setting. When you get to the track, with the front end off the ground move the cc plates to max negative, takes 5 minutes, and then you will have about -3 degrees camber and some useful toe out which helps turn in. Win-win. I don't bother measuring negative camber at the track, you want as much as you can get so just move the cc plates as far negative as they will go. When done for the day, put the cc plates back to max upright and head home. Super easy.

If you drive on 19x11 without the negative camber, I think you would get rubbing on compression. But not totally sure, haven't tried that personally. Good luck!
 
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65
79
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
Remind me do you have an extra set of wheels?
The wheels I’ve been driving on are 13-14 track pack wheels with 275 Michelin PS4S. They get the job done.
Was thinking about making them my street wheels and putting on the apex 19x11s for track days only. But with people saying some camber won’t wear tires irregularly, now I’m thinking of just running the apex wheels all the time. The mustang is really just a weekend car that doesn’t get many street miles. Other option is getting a small trailer behind the mustang with a hitch and towing the wheels and tools to the track. That would give me the ability to get some R compounds on the 19x11s when the time comes. Think I need to run street tires for now to learn the car.
 
270
413
Exp. Type
HPDE
Exp. Level
3-5 Years
Wisconsin
The wheels I’ve been driving on are 13-14 track pack wheels with 275 Michelin PS4S. They get the job done.
Was thinking about making them my street wheels and putting on the apex 19x11s for track days only. But with people saying some camber won’t wear tires irregularly, now I’m thinking of just running the apex wheels all the time. The mustang is really just a weekend car that doesn’t get many street miles. Other option is getting a small trailer behind the mustang with a hitch and towing the wheels and tools to the track. That would give me the ability to get some R compounds on the 19x11s when the time comes. Think I need to run street tires for now to learn the car.
The reason I ask is JB racing tires is a hookup we have. Would allow you to run slick for a faction of the cost to any high performance tire. Normally around 75-100 a tire. They are near lake Geneva. Just a thought. Mike and John are awesome. Might be an option for you.
 
65
79
Exp. Type
Autocross
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Chicagoland
The reason I ask is JB racing tires is a hookup we have. Would allow you to run slick for a faction of the cost to any high performance tire. Normally around 75-100 a tire. They are near lake Geneva. Just a thought. Mike and John are awesome. Might be an option for you.
Was not aware of this! Is this a sponsor here at TMO? Is there a link? That sounds like the way to go and I would 100% jump on it.
 
209
160
Exp. Type
Time Attack
Exp. Level
Under 3 Years
Bulgaria
People are fitting 4 sets of 11 inch wide wheels inside their cars!? That seems crazy. I will have to give it a try- if it works that solves a lot of problems for me. Might be installing a 4 point cage in the spring so not sure if that would still work.
I was having the same consideration until someone pointed out that 3 305/30/19 fit straight on the back seat. Here is how:
IMG_0082.jpeg

And the 4th one in the trunk with all the other staff for the track. This is only good if you travel long to the track otherwise better put them on the car you know.
 

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